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darrell issa or john boehner or mitt romney, they are accountable to the people, and we do have that power. [ applause ] one issue that i want to highlight because there's a lot of fight, there's a lot of things to work on, but one thing we need to be aware of is i have to say i was delighted and ecstatic by the supreme court's decision this week. [ applause ] but within that decision comes a challenge. the supreme court has said that states can opt out of expanding medicaid coverage to 133% of the poverty line. what that means is if you have a
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state, let's take texas, for example, where six million texans are uninsured, highest rate in the country. a quarter of their residents don't have health insurance. if they went with the affordable care act and expanded medicaid coverage up to 133%, it would cover 2 million more texans, 2 million, and for the first years, it would be 100% of the federal government expense. going forward, it would be at 90% of federal government expense. so texas decides in their texas way that they do sometimes that they're not going to go with the program. those 2 million people won't be insured and yet they won't qualify for the subsidies in the affordable care act to help them be able to afford insurance on their own. so we'll literally have a situation where the poorest people, the people in the most need, will be totally left out in the cold. bobby jindal has already said in louisiana that he is not, in his
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state, going to go with the medicaid expansion, and you can imagine that a lot of these republicans are going to make this a litmus issue so that any republican who has national ambitions will have their feet held to the fire to also say they're not going to go forward with the medicaid expansion unless people like us get energized and we hold their feet to the fire and say you are not going to leave 2 million texas residents out in the cold. you are not going to do this to us. okay, that's our responsibility. we have to make it a political winner to implement this change and provide health care to literally millions of americans. that, i think, is a big fight that we have to start planning for and taking on right now. the last thing that i want to say -- [ applause ] thank you.
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some of my friends in the room know my favorite dr. seuss story is "the lorax." i do have a 40-year-old daughter and i took her to the movie, and i was blown away. it's amazing. everybody should see it. it's revolutionary. but -- it really is, truly is, read the book if you don't have time for the movie action anyway, so i want to actually close with my favorite lines from "the lorax" because i think it is a call to action. "and all that the lorax left here in this mess was a small pile of rocks was one word, unless. whatever that meant. i just couldn't guess. that was long, long ago, but each day since that day, i've sat here and worried and worried away, through the years while my buildings have fallen apart, i worried about it with all of my heart, but now said the
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wentzler, now that you're here, the words of the lorax seem perfectly clear unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better, it's not." [ applause ] thank you. all right. so ladies and gentlemen, who i'm so glad are here, let's get fired up. let's work. let's organize. let's fight. thank you. [ applause ] [ cheers and applause ]
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>> so much inspiration. can we handle it? are we fired up? >> yeah! >> all right! i'm really excited to introduce tamika mallory. tamika mallory, look at her. she is leading, leading at the top, one of the nation's top civil rights organizations. [ applause ] she is the executive director of the national action network. she has been a member of national action network since it was formed in 1991. she is the youngest national executive director in the group's history. how old are you? tamika, is it -- 32. [ cheers and applause ]
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tamika has worked closely with the obama administration on civil rights issues, including education, equal rights for women, health care reform -- woo! health fair reform -- gun violence and police misconduct. recently tamika was named one of the 100 future leaders. i don't know what that means. she's a leader today. she sits on news corps diversity advisory council, and is a board member of youth in action. please give the warmest round of applause for tamika mallory. [ applause ] >> thank you all so much. thank you so much, erin. i feel like i have absolutely nothing to say after these two, wonderful women came before me. everything that i was thinking to say to you all has already been said.
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i'll try to figure out something and take my seat quickly. >> i want to thank terry o'neil, the wonderful president of the national organization for women for including me in this amazing, amazing conference and of course to erin, who is a fireball, our young leader in her own right. thank you so much, erin. [ applause ] to sandra fluke, you are truly an inspiration. don't let anybody tell you anything different. we, i think all of us here look at you as a trailblazer and an example that you cannot be afraid to stand up and to speak out. and your work has, will inspire us all for a long, long time to come, so thank you for just being you. thank you. [ applause ] and krystal ball, who is also a staff member at msnbc, along with my boss, the reverend al
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sharpton, she's fierce, a wonderful woman who i watch all the time. i kind of go and watch what krystal is saying so i can get my stuff in order, and know where, what i got to move on, but as the 32-year-old female national executive director of the reverend al sharpton's organization, his baby, that he started 21 years ago, we are serious about the hostile environment that is really upon women across this country and across the world. women all over are suffering with so many issues, and we take it very seriously and work really hard at trying to make changes. as a woman myself, you know, i'm in front of the issues. any time we do a conference or have a conversation anywhere, if there's all men on the list, you'll see me being the one to say, wait a minute, there's got to be a woman who is an expert on this issue as well. everybody goes, i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry. absolutely.
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i've really been the trailblazer there. what we realize is that with all the issues that we're facing, all the things that we're going through, courage and activism are the only things that we need to get by. we can win, if we're active and if we have courage, because it's not easy, so we've got to stand up and be willing to jump across those hurdles and use the strength of our sisters and our brothers to get us through. that is sort of the model that our organization lives with. that we can do anything with courage and activism. now most of you know reverend al. as i said, he's the most of "politics nation" on msnbc. he's also radio host, on the radio seven days a week. he's the hardest working man in the civil rights movement after dr. king, i have to tell you. you may know him from the trayvon martin case where he really was the leading force in helping to bring that case to the forefront. [ applause ]
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he's worked many, many years on police brutality and police misconduct. and as a matter of fact, he's actually in los angeles right now preaching the funeral of rodney king. then you also may know him for his recent work on voting rights, which i think is probably the 21st civil rights issue, civil rights issue of the 21st century along with education and a bunch of other stuff. but the voting rights issue is very, very critical, because everything that we are upset about, everything we are mobilized around will really be determined by what happens with this election and with one's ability to take away our right to vote. over.
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that is an issue that he is all over. i want to put a little bit of context around why i'm here, and why i am the national executive director of a civil rights organization, and i don't know any organization, civil rights organization that has a young woman who is number two to the president, and it's tall order. people look at reverend sharpton one way and then they see me and it's like she's a woman. she's a feminist. she'll be telling the us what to do for girls. people don't necessarily want to hear it. so it certainly is a tall order for me, but just to tell you a little bit about myself, i have literally been an activist since i was a toddler. my parents helped to start national action network 21 years ago. i've been at every rally, every protest, every demonstration. i was the kid that used to be there and my parents would use me in the crowd of 20,000 to 30,000 people but they didn't worry because they knew somebody would bring me to the end of the march. really truly a young toddler activist. through all of those things, it was really instilled in me that equal rights is a civil right.
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equal rights is a civil right. [ applause ] to go even further than that, my mother was kept happy by everyone in this house. everybody in our whole family, as a matter of fact, knew not to mess with her. if she was upset, the whole family felt the wrath of her being upset. you just did whatever she said. i remember when i was a kid, i used to go to my dad and say, "mom is doing such and such thing and i'd go can you help me?" he'd go, "no, no, no. do whatever it is that your mother wants you to do." the thing i learned from that is being an activist and a strong women can move mountains. we can do so much. [ applause ] so i'm proud to be a woman in the civil rights movement, and i hope that all of us who are here today can embrace the whole
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thought of us just being ignited, being fired up and ready to work. over the next months, we have some important work to do. and we've got to really have that energy to run the next course and we've got to do it together. you know, the one thing about women is we push one another along. you know you can call your sister and your -- your fellow woman on the job or wherever and say i just need a little bit of encouragement, and we will help you get to the next place, and what they say behind every man, every powerful man is a strong woman, so we have the energy that we need, but we've just got to kick it up and be reignited, just be reorganized, you know, to do the work that is necessary at this time. i want to talk quickly about a few points, and i think the most important thing that i can say today is that activism, it's really what we need to be focused on. you know, it is not enough to sit back and look at the television and say, you know, i'm mad. i can't believe that. look at that. what are you going to do about it, you know? what are you going to do in your
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area, in your hometown, where you live to make the change? so activism is truly the only thing that we can really use, and i have to keep saying that because not everybody who -- and i think i'm preaching to the choir because all of you who are here are very strong activists in your own right, but sometimes we can get into one little area and say we're going to work on education or we're just going to focus on this small thing, and that is important, because the small things make up the big picture, but true activism means that sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and go and support someone else and what they are doing. you don't necessarily have to be the leader, but you've got to be there as a supporter. [ applause ] so i think it's safe to say today that we all know we're here to talk about how to make us more effective because all of us are doing something. right? how do we become more effective, and i still think it's safe to say that we understand the
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context sort of what activism was, the historical context, what people have done like sojourner truth and elizabeth kady stanton, and gloria steinham and rosa parks and all these great women who came before us to get us to this great place, but what does it mean to be an activist today? what are the pressing issues? what are the key issues that we must tackle today? what does activism mean? let's talk about one of the most recent issues where you saw our activism work, and that is just recently the affordable health care act being upheld, right? so we know, we did that, right. why? because when the president was running, we said we want health care. we want it to be fair. we want it to be equal, and we want to get rid of the discriminatory practices of health care in this country. that's what we want. we said it. we meant it, and the president said he would do it, and he did. so that's the first level of how our activism works.
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the second thing we did was when we got in we reminded him, don't forget, you remember, you promised us, health care, and he did it. and that's a form of activism, but the third thing is once it was under siege, and once we felt like it may not come through, we went to the supreme court. we rallied, we organized and we wrote, we blogged, we twittered, tweeted, excuse me, we did everything that we needed to do, and i don't think that the supreme court's decision was based upon that, but i certainly know that it was a sign that the american people, and particularly women, we wanted it. we wanted to have affordable health care for us, and we wanted to have it to be, again, a non-discriminatory practice. and so it happened, and that was through true activism. so what does that mean today? it means that we've got to look at other issues and do the same
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exact thing. so right now we're talking about this whole wage income gap and the fact that we're demanding that there's parity in america. why is it that we're also the breadwinners of our households? a lot of times, and i'm sorry, the men that are in the room, i'm sorry, but it's very true. if a woman doesn't bring home a good paycheck the household will fail. i know it certainly is that way in the african-american community. you need to have two people in the house making ends meet, and so we're also the breadwinners. we're also taking care of our children. single moms, i'm sure, many of you are here in this room. why are we getting paid 77 cents to the dollar that a man is making? why? [ applause ] and to go even further than that, a black and latino woman is making 61 cents to every dollar. now, in 1963, let me just make sure i get this right, the equal pay act was signed by president kennedy, and so the 77 cents now
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is only 17 cents more than what it was in 1963, not really a big deal, but that means that it was 60 cents, right, at that time. well, now, women of color are making 61 cents so there really has been no progress at all in that area. so a woman who is as qualified or more qualified cannot get paid the same thing that a man is getting paid. that's an issue that we have to tackle together, right now, and we can't wait and say we're going to do it by and by. we've got to do it today. [ applause ] now, as they would say at the n.o.w. conference. the next thing is the violence against women act being reauthorized and making sure that people of color, immigrants, the lgbt community and native americans are a part of it. [ applause ] and then we have this thing
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that, you know, is very personal to me, and that's the violence, drugs and crime within our young people on the streets of america. very serious. we are caught up in we've got to feed hungry children. we've got to fight for education, for equal education opportunities. we've got to do all of that, and we somehow turn our eyes at the fact that our children have access to guns and drugs. my son's father -- my son is 13 years old, believe it or not, and his father was murdered when he was 2, and it is nothing like telling my son every time he gets upset that, you know, i'm just so sorry. he was a victim to the street and it's just me and you, you know, and there are others that are involved in his life, but there's nothing like your mother and your father, your mommy and your daddy, you know. so while we're worrying about all of these other things, our children are crying out for us to focus, focus on the fact that they're in pain and, therefore, they are killing each other.
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it's a sense of cannibalism that's happening within our young people, because they are getting ignored in the process of us focusing on the big picture and not zeroing in on what they are going through. the drugs are just a form of them trying to cover up the pain that they are feeling. and that's something else that we've got to look at and fight for our children's lives on a more specific basis. more specific basis. what can we do to help them stop them killing themselves. that's another issue. and i'm almost done. i've got two more important points. voting. i talked about that in the beginning. very important. national action network just launched a voting engagement tour. we're going all over this country ensuring that every single vote will count. we're trying to help people get their i.d.s. we're trying to make sure they know they need an i.d. a lot of states, people don't have a clue that there's a law that's been passed in their state and no one is trying to
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get them that information, either. so we're there trying to make sure that we establish groups on the ground, making sure that the elderly community, the youth, the churches are all organized to help people go out and get their i.d.s and also to register to vote. that is an issue, an activist issue, that we must be engaged in. how do you do it? you don't necessarily have to be involved in a widespread program. you can literally just call your family members in particular states and tell them that you need to pay attention to the fact that you need a new i.d., you may not have the proper identification, and grandma needs also to find her birth certificate so she can get the proper state i.d. do you know that in texas you can use your gun license but you can't use your student i.d. to vote? it's crazy, crazy, but people in texas don't know, so if you know people in texas, you've got to be an activist and call them and let them know what's going on and help them get organized to get what they need. that's another issue.
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finally, we all must work together on working rights and immigrant rights. [ applause ] i'll tell you a quick funny story and then i'll take my seat. this march, well, first of all, it was in february, reverend sharpton calls me and says we're going to walk 54 miles from selma to montgomery, well, it was great after i did it, but -- but we're going to walk from selma to montgomery, and we're going to re-enact the 1963 march on -- in alabama where the voting rights march, and we're going to, you know, go out and organize labor. we're going to get people together and we're going to walk. now i wear five-inch prada shoes on a regular basis like i'm sure many of you do, and i was thinking to myself what is going to happen? it was the first time in my life where breaking my leg was okay. like i just wanted to break it the day before and just lay down
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and say sorry, you know, but i'll watch you guys on tv and terry o'neill was there and walked with us. but after we got on the walk, it just got easier. it didn't even feel -- there was no pain. we just kept walking, and walking and talking and organizing and feeling this sense of love and unity. we slept together on cots in a church, and because there was no hotel back in the day when dr. king did it. there was no hotel, so we really -- i was like reverend sharpton, we're really going to do it just like they did it? there's no shuttle service and hotel, and he's like no, we're really going to sleep on a cot in a church and it was great because i got to connect with people from ohio and wisconsin and other places that i would never have met, and we would never have had our guards down enough to talk to one another and be real. so on this walk we kept pushing one another along saying i know you're tired, but we can continue to do that, and i think
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that that is my closing message for all of you today. we've got to not only be activists but we've got to love each other more. we've got to put our petty differences aside, look one another in the eye and say i love you regardless of the fact that i don't like you. i don't like your hair. i don't like how you dress. i don't like your size. i don't like all those things, but i love you because you're another human being, and obviously god had a purpose for you. if we can do that, if we can unite around love and activism, we can change the whole world. so once we get past that, once we get past our issues, what will happen is you will begin to see that our children and other
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people will respect us because they are looking for the greatness within us but we're not always displaying it, so my call to action today is while you're being an activist, be a lover, be a sister, be a brother to your sister and be all those different things because with that, with love and activism, we truly can make a difference. we've done it before. we can do it again, and we can continue to make the necessary change in this country that will ensure that generations to come will have what they need to survive. let's not just talk about it though. let's be about it when we walk away from this conference today. thank you all so very much. [ applause ] >> so in closing, what i'd love
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to do is talking about younger women organizing, i want to acknowledge all the younger women in this room. it's not just the people on the stage. first and foremost, i think i see latifa lyles towards the back of the room. i can't tell. is that you? yes. let's give a round of applause for latifa lyles. [ applause ] and i'd like any -- define young however you want. you know what? if you feel it, stand, and i'm not going to put any boundaries around that. if you feel youthful and you're a n.o.w. chapter leader, please stand up. >> if you feel youthful and you are a current or former intern for the national organization of women, please stand up. [ applause ] >> if you feel youthful and this
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is your first national n.o.w. conference, please stand up. if you don't care what the hell your age is and you're fired up and ready to go, please stand up. you know, in 2006 i was actually in the national n.o.w. action center when betty friedan died. it was a young feminist task force meeting at the time that we were having it, and i remember holding a moment of silence, and that round of applause just felt like a wonderful moment of breaking the silence, so thank you so very much. [ applause ]
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15-minute break, y'all. >> i just want to remind everybody there's a woman of color caucus meeting tonight at 7:45 p.m. in room 1115. bring your dinner with you. -- focus on the results that we want. it can create jobs. it can spark innovation. it can expand opportunity. it can guarantee our competitiveness. it can put america back on top. >> you can talk about goals all you want, but we have put up stop signs, we have put up stop lights and none of it ever
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changes congress' behavior. >> from the time that i had lost total control of the committee and went up for two pitchers of beer with my chief of staff and came back and called the head of the joint tax commission, give us a tax bill with 25% rate top, he said okay. i have to get rid of the mortgage interest deduction. i said what about 26. >> you could make the advantages to homeowners much more progressive in the domenici-rivlin tax reform. what we did was to convert the home mortgage deduction to a tax credit add our lower rate. >> changing the tax code. yesterday and today. current and former lawmakers, the bipartisan policy center on the battles won and lost. find it online at the c-span video library. >> here's a quick look at what we have coming up for you on c-span 3. up next, a hearing on the

July 6, 2012 9:30am-10:00am EDT

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 15, Texas 7, Sharpton 4, Tamika Mallory 3, Selma 2, Erin 2, Krystal 2, Tamika 2, America 2, Msnbc 2, Latifa Lyles 2, Montgomery 2, Bobby Jindal 1, Rodney King 1, Dr. Seuss 1, Dr. King 1, Terry O'neil 1, Elizabeth Kady Stanton 1, You On C-span 1, Darrell Issa Or John Boehner 1
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